Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — Contiki has unveiled its new USA & Canada program for 2019-20.
Highlighted offerings include five brand new trips in the U.S., in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, California and the Deep South, along with 13 improved trips across North America.
The new trips join 32 existing trips that Contiki offers in North America. The new program also seea Contiki introduce glamping accommodation, “defined as ‘camping meets modern luxury’”, says the company, on select trips to the U.S. as part of its ‘Special Stay’ offering. The exclusive only-with-Contiki accommodation options through Special Stay include the Gasthof Schoneck in Austria, jungle rafts in Thailand and the famous Château de Cruix (AKA the ‘Contiki Château’) in France’s Beaujolais wine region.
Unique accommodation is a key selling feature for agents looking to talk to their clients about Contiki’s USA & Canada program, says Sheralyn Berry, President of Contiki Canada.
“North America is an incredibly diverse region with countless opportunities for adventure,” notes Berry. “We know young Canadians are increasingly interested in off-the-beaten-track destinations and choosing glamping as their preferred type of accommodation, so it’s exciting to not only be able to offer two brand new and lesser-explored destinations with our Alaska and Pacific Northwest trips, but also our new glamping experiences in the Great Smoky Mountains and Zion National Park. Clients travelling with Contiki should prepare for a road trip of a lifetime.”
The new program incorporates ‘Instagram-worthy’ glamping experiences in Zion National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains. For two nights, clients sleep in safari-style tents, featuring real beds, luxury bathrooms and cafe-style dining options. Other trips in the region include overnights in a Bass Lake summer camp with swimming pool and rustic cabins, and a picturesque chalet in Banff complete with indoor pool and sauna.
Here’s a closer look at Contiki’s new U.S. trips for 2019-2020…
This 12-day adventure includes spectacular, untouched landscapes and roaming wildlife and glaciers, with time at some of the biggest National Parks in the world for hiking, camping, canoeing and more.
This 9-day trip in the laid-back Pacific Northwest starts in San Francisco before heading through Portland, Astoria and Seattle, along with exploring the great outdoors of the Columbian River Highway, Multnomah Falls and Mt Hood. Clients can expect plenty of craft beer, incredible music, natural beauty and delicious regional food along the way.
This trip starts in San Francisco and winds its way through giant redwoods and rugged coastlines to Big Sur, Malibu and Santa Monica Pier. The eight-day journey “brings you the best of Cali, with plenty of palm-fringed beaches, breath-taking bays and dazzling L.A. glamour along the way.”
From Dallas to New Orleans, this eight-day trip is all about BBQ, southern hospitality and the sultry sound of jazz and blues. This one brings clients from Fort Worth through Austin, Houston and New Orleans.
This trip hits all the highlights of the American south in 10 days, from the sultry jazz and sumptuous food of New Orleans, down through other musical meccas like Memphis and Nashville before the big finale – glamping under canvas in the majestic Great Smoky Mountains. The trip ends in Atlanta.
Yosemite is best known for its waterfalls, but still manages to pack in gigantic glaciers, dreamy meadows, plunging valleys, ancient trees and wildlife, says Contiki. The 4-day trip takes travellers from San Fran into the heart of nature, where they’ll camp under starlit skies, hike through the giant sequoia trees and cycle by the Merced River.
SOUTHWEST NATIONAL PARKS
This 4-day trip starts and finishes in Las Vegas but inbetween the focus is decidedly nature, with a journey through Zion Canyon and the organic amphitheatre of Bryce, before heading through Monument Valley, Lake Powell. The trip saves the best for last – the Grand Canyon. Along the way clients will be hiking, camping under starlit skies and spotting wildlife, with options for a Navajo-led hike around Antelope Canyon and a helicopter over the Grand Canyon’s rim.